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Cranderson Enterprises IncrLEDible Power Vest

From the guy who brought you the accELeration speedcrutches – the fastest* crutches in the world – comes a revolutionary new product: the Cranderson Enterprises IncrLEDible Power Vest. What, you might ask, is a power vest? Put simply, it’s a vest that gives you the power to dance faster, harder, and better than you could without it.

Let’s have a cursory look at some (but not all) of the steps that go into making each IncrLEDible Power Vest.

First, two programmable LED strips need to be wired up to connect to a breakout board. First solder the wires:

Soldering data and power wires to the LED strip

Then hot glue to strengthen the physical connection and insulate the wires:

Hot glue to strengthen connection and insulate wires

Then electrical tape for further strength and weather-proofing:

Electrical tape to protect the LED strip

Next, the brain of each LED strip needs a bit of soldering so it can be connected to the strip:

Soldering a header to the Atmega32u4 breakout board

Me and my soldering station:

My soldering station

Once the LED strips are both ready and tested, they need to be attached to the vest. First, the placement of the strip should be marked out with chalk or masking tape. These two photos show one side marked, and the other already attached:

IncrLEDible Power Vest in progress - back
IncrLEDible Power Vest in progress - front

Slits are then cut in the vest’s outer layer to create pass-through loops:

IncrLEDible Power Vest closeup

View from the inside of the vest:

IncrLEDible Power Vest closeup

On the prototype, I reinforced the area around each loop with duct tape, but for long term durability, thread should be used (like around a button hole).

Duct tape to protect the inside of the vest
Duct tape to protect the inside of the vest

And here’s the final product showing a sample 50 second light sequence. Each of the 32 LEDs in each strip (64 per vest) are individually programmable to turn on or off in any order, for any length of time, at any mathematically-definable interval, in any of a whopping 2 million colours:

Cranderson Enterprises IncrLEDible Power Vest from Chris Anderson on Vimeo.

From the creator of the Cranderson Enterprises accELeration speedcrutches, comes the IncrLEDible Power Vest. This no-nonsense power vest will help you dance harder and faster, while dazing and confusing your competitors on the dancefloor with its 64 super duper bright and flashy LEDs, each capable of displaying 2 million colours and fully programmable to do whatever you want it to do!

If you would like your very own IncrLEDible Power Vest, please contact me for pricing and lead time information.

*This claim has not been verified by any independent sources

cranderson enterprises accELeration speedcrutches

I knew since December last year, when I ripped my anterior cruciate ligament clear off my femur and tore my meniscus a bit, that I’d need a surgical operation to fix it. Just after arriving back in Vancouver from the DR Congo in March this year, my surgery date was finally given to me: April 10th, 2012 at UBC Hospital. I knew then that I had only a limited time to create… the fastest crutches ever.

In order to do this, I first carried out many (fractions of) hours of rigorous scientific research online (Google Image search function) to find the best idea someone else had come up with, then do something completely different.

One guy I found in my research had added a beer holder to his crutches to make them faster. Unfortunately, his design doesn’t take into account the S factor (shaking of beer) which means that a closed beer, in his crutches and travelling at the speeds at which such speedy crutches must travel on a daily basis, could easily explode — or at least lose a lot of its carbonation. Not good for mouthfeel. Anyways, I hadn’t the time to devise an ingenious gyroscopic sling system to keep a beer from over-shaking while held by a crutch moving at supersonic speeds, so in the end I didn’t use any of his engineering ideas (I may do so in the future, however).

Crutch beer holder. Photo copyright: Claire Howell, http://www.flickr.com/people/midwestbass/

(photo copyright: Claire Howell, http://www.flickr.com/people/midwestbass/)

I also found a young lady’s detailed instructions on how she made her crutches faster, including the mathematical calculations she used. Unlike the beer holder crutches, I could find no engineering flaw in her design – it’s clear that her crutch land speed greatly increased once she modified them; plus, she even got compliments on the design from passers-by. Much like designing the Koenigsegg Agera R, it’s very difficult to build something that is both incredibly fast and also aesthetically pleasing, but some people seem to have that gift. A number of the engineering concepts found in her pink rhinestone-studded crutches have been adapted to include in my design, although in order to protect my trade secrets I cannot tell you which of these elements I’ve incorporated.

Pink rhinestone crutches. Photo copyright: Katie Brown, http://downtownkatiebrown.blogspot.ca/

(photo copyright: Katie Brown, http://downtownkatiebrown.blogspot.ca/)

A quick warning to those who aim to create their own, faster-than-slow crutches, when doing rigorous scientific research online: There are numerous companies selling so-called crutch “covers” and “accessories” to make your crutches look faster, but I guarantee you that they do just that: they make your crutches look faster. They will not increase your crutch land speed in any way; they might even slow you down!

Now, having explained all of this to you, I hereby present: the cranderson enterprises world premiere of accELeration speedcrutches, the fastest fully homologated, zero-emission high-visibility speedcrutches ever designed.

Features include:

  • Super speed
  • Amazing acceleration
  • Very quick
  • Make you go faster

Before and after photos:

Before: regular crutches
After: black cranderson accELeration speedcrutches
Before: regular crutches
After: black cranderson accELeration speedcrutches
Before: regular crutches
After: black cranderson accELeration speedcrutches
Before: regular crutches
After: black cranderson accELeration speedcrutches
Before: regular crutches
After: black cranderson accELeration speedcrutches

The EL wire bits I needed to make my crutches faster, from the Vancouver Hackspace:

EL wire supplies from the Vancouver Hackspace

The result of all this hard work? accELeration speedcrutches with the kitchen light on:

accELeration speedcrutches with light on

accELeration speedcrutches with the kitchen light off:

accELeration speedcrutches with light off

Two studio close-ups of the accELeration speedcrutches:

close-up of accELeration speedcrutches
close-up of accELeration speedcrutches

Yours truly showing off the crazy speed of these super fast accELeration speedcrutches:

cranderson accELeration speedcrutches (EL wire crutches) in use

A video of the fastest recorded crutchrun in history, using cranderson accELeration speedcrutches, can be viewed by clicking here.

Chris Anderson, Peanut Catcher Extraordinaire

I can’t play any instruments. I can’t juggle. I’m not a particularly good dancer, though I sometimes ignore that fact when out with friends. I can’t do back flips.

Everyone, however, has at least one talent, even if that talent may not be useful or interesting. My talent is catching food in my mouth. Toss a grape my way from across the room, launch a fuzzy peach candy while I’m watching a hockey game on TV, fire jellybeans at my head when I’m sitting at the breakfast table. I’ll happily attempt to catch all of them, and more often than not, I’ll succeed.

Somehow, while working in the Democratic Republic of Congo with MSF, my colleagues found out about this talent and decided to put me to the test. After taking five small sips of watery Ugandan lager to counter the expected salt build-up in my mouth and throat, I caught 48 out of 52 peanuts thrown my way by three peanut-throwers over the course of 57 seconds. Dr Alan Gonzalez filmed it, so that we could share it online. Enjoy:

Chris Anderson, Peanut Catcher Extraordinaire from Chris Anderson on Vimeo.

Years of training at the Vancouver Aquarium taught Chris Anderson to mimic the Harbour Seal. This footage, filmed in Faradje, Democratic Republic of Congo, demonstrates the result of that training.

Filmed by Alan Gonzalez
Peanuts thrown by Rachel Marsden, Emilie Castaignet, and Alan Gonzalez